student profile: Ms Akane Katsu


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Returning to work after a burn injury

Supervisors: Martin MACKEY , Lynette MACKENZIE , Jim ELLIOTT

Thesis abstract:

�p�Burn care has evolved over the decades from its initial surgical focus on burn resuscitation, early excision and wound healing to complex multidisciplinary rehabilitation addressing scar management and psychological adjustment for the optimisation of recovery. Resumption of life roles including return to work (RTW) is regarded as an important indicator of recovery. In Australia, 65% of all hospitalised burn cases in 2013-14 were working age adults (15-64 years) (Pointer and Tovell, 2016) and the incidence of burn injuries in these adults are on the rise in New South Wales (NSW) (Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence HealthStats NSW, 2018). Yet there is limited support for the majority of burn injury patients because of the reliance on public healthcare and welfare services and informal carers. Access to necessary care services, particularly for post acute burn care can be lacking even for compensable patients due to the lack of trained or suitably experienced staff. Common barriers and enablers to RTW have previously been identified for burn-injured populations in other countries (Mason et al., 2012, Stergiou-Kita and Grigorovich, 2013). However, there is currently limited information regarding how these barriers, supports and guidelines address issues of RTW in NSW. Furthermore, gaps in current RTW research include examining work performance over time, the accommodations required, as well as separation of the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that affect RTW outcomes are less understood (Ryan et al., 2017, Mason et al., 2012). It is in this context that this research proposes to investigate the gaps in local knowledge of RTW and develop guidelines for implementation of interventions to aid burn injury patients RTW.�/p�

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